Main Engine Cut Off

Blue Origin Continues Lobbying NASA

Blue Origin’s Rob Meyerson Talks About Blue Moon

Credit: Alan Boyle

Rob Meyerson, president of Blue Origin, talked a bit more about their Blue Moon concept at the Space Symposium this week. Phillip Swarts, reporting for SpaceNews:

The lander, he said, would be part of a “space transfer and lunar lander architecture, leveraging Blue and NASA technologies,” he said. “Blue Moon directly leverages our New Shepard proven vertical takeoff and vertical landing technology, combined with our extensive liquid propulsion capabilities to reduce development time and risk.”

Blue Origin would be willing to invest in development of the Blue Moon system as part of a partnership with NASA, Meyerson said, envisioning regular delivery of resources and supplies to a potential lunar colony to augment NASA missions launched by the agency’s own Space Launch System.

Nothing much new there, but good to hear Blue Origin has an architecture in the works, not only a lander. The phrasing of this section is a bit confusing:

The proposed Blue Moon design would be optimized to fly on SLS, but could also launch aboard other rockets including United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 and Blue Origin’s own New Glenn rocket, he said.

If the lander is compatible with Atlas V, and “optimized to fly on SLS” is the phrase used by Meyerson, that must mean it fits within a 5-meter fairing and its mass would be 6,000 kilograms or less—the limit of a co-manifested payload on a crewed fight. No other configuration would be “optimized to fly on SLS” that would also keep it compatible with an Atlas V.

My gut says that I’m overthinking the comments here, and it’s all pure lobbying, especially if New Glenn was listed last. When you say “our payload can fly on SLS or any ULA vehicle,” several politicians’ ears perk up.